WASHINGTON — A Texas man convicted of storming the U.S. Capitol with a holstered handgun helmet and physique armor was sentenced on Monday to 87 months — greater than seven years — in jail, the longest sentence imposed to date amongst lots of of Capitol riot circumstances.
Prosecutors stated Man Reffitt instructed fellow members of the Texas Three Percenters militia group that he deliberate to tug Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi out of the Capitol constructing by her ankles, “together with her head hitting each step on the best way down,” in accordance with a court docket submitting.
Reffitt was the primary individual to go on trial for the Jan. 6, 2021, assault, during which supporters of then-President Donald Trump halted the joint session of Congress for certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.
U.S. District Choose Dabney Friedrich, who presided over Reffitt’s jury trial, additionally sentenced him to a few years of supervised launch after his jail time period and ordered him to pay $2,000 in restitution.
Justice Division prosecutors really useful a 15-year jail sentence for Reffitt, who already has been jailed for roughly 19 months. They stated he was a militia group member who supposed to tug lawmakers out of the constructing and take over Congress to cease the certification of the Electoral School vote.
Sentencing pointers calculated by the court docket’s probation division referred to as for a sentence starting from 9 years to 11 years and three months. Prosecutors argued that an “upward departure for terrorism” was warranted in Reffitt’s case.
The longest sentence earlier than Reffitt’s was 5 years and three months, for 2 males who pleaded responsible to assaulting law enforcement officials on the Capitol.
Protection lawyer Clinton Broden requested for Reffitt to be sentenced to not more than two years in jail. Broden famous that Reffitt didn’t assault any regulation enforcement officers or enter the Capitol constructing.
Movies captured the confrontation between outnumbered Capitol law enforcement officials and a mob of individuals, together with Reffitt, who approached them on the west aspect of the Capitol.
Reffitt was armed with a Smith & Wesson pistol in a holster on his waist, carrying zip-tie handcuffs and carrying physique armor and a helmet geared up with a video digital camera when he superior on the officers, in accordance with prosecutors. He retreated after an officer pepper sprayed him within the face, however he waved on different rioters who in the end breached the constructing, prosecutors stated.
Reffitt didn’t testify at his trial earlier than jurors convicted him in March of all 5 counts in his indictment. The jury discovered him responsible of obstructing Congress’ joint session, of interfering with law enforcement officials outdoors the Capitol and of threatening his two teenage youngsters in the event that they reported him to regulation enforcement.
Reffitt’s 19-year-old son, Jackson, testified that his father instructed him and his sister, then 16, that they’d be traitors in the event that they reported him to authorities and warned them that “traitors get shot.”
Man Reffitt was a member of the Texas Three Percenters militia group, in accordance with prosecutors. The Three Percenters motion refers back to the fantasy that solely 3 % of Individuals fought within the Revolutionary Battle in opposition to the British.
Reffitt lived together with his spouse and kids in Wylie, Texas, a Dallas suburb. He drove to Washington, D.C., with Rocky Hardie, a fellow member of the militia group.
Hardie testified that each of them have been armed with holstered handguns once they attended Trump’s “Cease the Steal” rally earlier than the riot. Hardie additionally stated Reffitt gave him two pairs of zip-tie cuffs in case they wanted to detain anyone.
Greater than 840 individuals have been charged with federal crimes associated to the riot. Over 340 of them have pleaded responsible, largely to misdemeanors. Greater than 220 have been sentenced, with practically half of them receiving phrases of imprisonment. Roughly 150 others have trial dates stretching into 2023.
Reffitt is certainly one of seven Capitol riot defendants to get a jury trial to date. Jurors have unanimously convicted all seven of them on all counts of their respective indictments.
Michael Kunzelman, The Related Press